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Like a Training Bra

I was in the orthodontist's waiting room, thinking... Eighteen months?  Do I really want these on for eighteen months?  The Today show was on the television and I half listened to President Obama talk about the swine flu.  yeah, yeah, yeah... the CDC and the WHO don't know what the hell is going on yet...

The women behind the front desk were coiffed and smelled good.  Their voices dripped with the sweetness of saccharin as they spoke to one another.  Look. At. You!  I don't think I've EVER seen you in pink before... Gosh, you look pretty today!  When one woman would turn her focus back to a computer screen or files on a desk, the others would take in every detail of her appearance.  They all took turns participating in the covert operation of sizing each other up.  I stared at their teeth.

Darla from "Finding Nemo" I got braces on my teeth last week.  Not Invisalign, but the old fashioned, silver, train track braces.  They're only on my top teeth with plans to add them to my bottom teeth in a month or two.  I've never had braces, nor have my kids, so this is a new experience for me.

I told Mother I had made the decision to get braces a few weeks ago...

Mom:  What's wrong with your teeth?!

I explained.

Mom:  Well... so much for saving money.  I thought you kids were trying to save money.

Me:  We have extra money this year in our tax-free medical spending account, Mom.  If we don't use it, we lose it, so I've figured out a moderate and responsible plan to contribute to the braces without draining the account in case we have an emergency.

Mom:  I still don't see what's wrong with your teeth...

Several of my friends have had braces and a few are wearing permanent retainers.  I've had plenty of people to call upon for encouragement, support and to answer my questions.  I'm comfortable with my decision and after nearly one week, I have no regrets.  Only 77 more weeks to go!

A friend asked me how my mouth was feeling.  The braces had only been on a couple of days.  I told her it was like my first training bra...


When I was in the fifth grade I wanted a bra so badly.  I didn't need a bra.  At all.  Many of the popular girls were wearing them, so I believed I needed one too.  Mom took me shopping and we bought a training bra.  I loved how when I bent over to reach for something, the back straps were very visible.  I felt like a 35-year-old.  It was awesome!

I didn't wear the bra all the time, just when I wanted to look 35, like when I went to the skating rink on Saturday afternoons to skate.  Boys were there.  Lip gloss?  Check.  Pom-poms for skates?  Check.  Training bra?  Check.  Tight, satiny shirt so bra strap would be visible when I flexed my back?  Check.

Mom and I were going shopping one afternoon.  It was a big deal for the two of us to have a shopping day.  We had to drive from our small town, Winchester, to Muncie [Indiana] so we could shop at a real mall.  We usually dressed up and ate lunch in a restaurant.  I decided to wear the training bra.

Mom:  Chrisy, if you're going to wear the training bra, you need to wear it... all day.

Me:  I will, Mom.

As much as I liked having visible bra straps under my shirt, the training bra irritated me after about an hour.  If I was with Mother, she found a bathroom so I could remove the bra and she would carry it in her purse.

After an hour of shopping on this particular day, I couldn't take it anymore.

Me:  Mom, will you carry my training bra?  It's hurting me.

Mom:  Chrisy!  C'mon, you're fine.

Me:  I can't, Mom.  It's tight and rubs my skin funny.

Mom:  Take it off, but carry it in your own purse.

Me:  My purse is too small...

Mom:  Maybe from now on you shouldn't wear it when we leave the house. [Crushing, because that was the whole point, for THE WORLD to see that I was old enough for and possibly needed a bra.]

She took the bra and I don't think I wore it again for at least a year, maybe two.


The braces?  Not uncomfortable at all for the first day.  Now?  My mouth is irritated, my teeth hurt, and I'd like my mother to carry them in her purse... for just a few hours.

First day with braces - April 2009

Image of Darla from "Finding Nemo" courtesy of Google Images.

Reader Comments (32)

They look good! I know many, many people - my husband included - who have done braces as an adult and they were so happy they did. The time goes by much faster than you can imagine. Good for you!
I hope you get used to those braces soon! Can't imagine not being able to take them out for all those weeks...

I had the same problem with my training bra too!
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLady Fi
I needed a bra far earlier than I wanted one - so I can't quite relate to that...

I also had braces when I was a kid - but I think they could have done a better job. My teeth were straight - but there were some spaces that I wonder why they didn't fix... When you are a kid - you're just happy to get the braces off, so you don't question it. But now I've had to resort to veneers to fill in those two gaps (I really had to since I got bonding in college and that sort of ruins your teeth).

So why no invisalign? I always kind of wish I had skipped the bonding so I could just fix the perfectly fine teeth that I had. Invisalign sounds like the perfect solution to adult braces. But otherwise you look cute! And it will be worth it when they come off. Not that in the few pictures I've seen of you, I noticed that you needed braces of course...
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate Coveny Hood
Blissful - Thanks! I've got my eye on the prize - so far I'm still motivated.

Lady Fi - I hope I do too. I'm starving.

Kate Coveny Hood - Invisalign isn't an option because my palate needs to be widened. Invisalign only straightens teeth - doesn't help a too narrow palate. Plus, Invisalign is much more expensive.
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris
You are so brave. I'm not sure if I would have the courage or patience to do that at my age.

Thank you for the picture. I was dying to see how they looked on you. I agree with Kate, you look cute!

And the training bra? Oh do I have bra stories from Junior high! I had to go to the women's bras from the get go and even though I'm not boo hoo hooing about it, it was mortifying when I was that young.
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnastasia
I'd be cool with eighteen months. I just saw the orthodontist last week and he's estimating I'll be in braces for two and a half years. Oh yeah. And with a jaw surgery thrown in somewhere in there for good measure. Hard to believe I wore braces for four years as a kid.
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStacey
I also wore braces... 3 years and my bottom teeth went crooked again after... They do look good on you, but then everything does! ;)
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpam
You look soooo cute with your braces! Time will fly by, also.
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Floydster
18 months is not long at all! the time will fly.
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSam
My sister recently had her braces removed. When she was told that she'd need them, she was overjoyed. For her it was the coolest thing. I already foresee braces in my kids future.
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
No head gear? Some girls get all the luck...

You truly look great with the braces - few people wear them so well (I seriously mean it...no flattery here...just my honest opinion).
May 3, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCorbie
Hmmm - it is the patience thing that gets me too.

I am a little short on it. Wish a magic wand could be waved over the gap I have had between my teeth for many many years!
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermary
Anastasia - I'm not sure if I have courage or patience either.

Stacey - Two and a half years (after four years as a kid) AND a jaw surgery?! I promise I will NEVER complain to you.

Pam - The orthodontist said most adults he puts braces on had them as a kid. He says people don't realize they need to wear retainers... for life. Teeth want to go back to their starting point.

Anne - You're nice. Thanks.

Samantha - Thank you for the encouragement!

Jennifer - I think our boys are going to be okay... time will tell.

Corbie - Nope. No head gear. :-) You're nice. Thanks. We'll see how my mouth looks with the lower braces in a month or two...

Mary - I actually like a gap between teeth. Lauren Bacall's teeth are fabulous!
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris
Oh how I remember my relationship with my own braces (and training bra). Both hurt like a SOB, as I recall. Happily the braces are gone, but the bra is here to stay. Dammit.
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlixandra Hice
When I was a kid, I remember being upset when they took my braces OFF b/c I was so used to him.

Cheers to your new braces and future fabulous teeth.
I never had a problem with my training bra, but I had braces for four years. Ah, those first few days after the orthodontist tightened them up and even breathing hurt... magic.
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCaptain Dumbass
I had braces for only 10 months as a 9-10 year old (I had an extra tooth, they pulled it and then wanted to close the gap)...but now my teeth are a bit crooked on the bottom...I kind of wish they had waited until I was a bit older to see if they gap close itself - i suppose they know what they're doing though? Maybe.

You do look adorable! Time will fly.
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeidre
I think that you look purdy! You have the look of a hot 18 year old!! I always wanted braces. I do have a middle aged retainer, though. Loving the "nemo" image...just perfect.Love and miss you!Robin
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
You look so young!! The braces add to your already youthful look. But I have to ask, what is it about your teeth that need fixed? They look pretty straight from what I can see.
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMrs. D
Alix - I'm still wearing a bra too, it's just got more wire than my braces!

Mama Bird - That's cute you missed them. Thanks for the support!

Captain Dumbass - Four years! That's a long time. I can breathe, but I'm getting sick of eating sweet potatoes, soggy cereal and dissolving bread in my mouth. Nice to hear you managed your training bra like a champ.

Deidre - That sounds young, but what do I know? Maybe you should try a retainer on your bottom teeth - a permanent wire one...

Robin - Thank you. I think you and I used to put things in our mouth to create the look of braces. Your teeth are gorgeous though! Love and miss you too...

Mrs. D. - My bottom teeth are crowding (why I originally consulted with the ortho - thinking I could get by with a retainer). My top teeth are straight, but I have a narrow palate, which is causing the bottom teeth to crowd. The goal is to widen my upper palate so we can widen my lower palate and straighten the lower teeth.
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChris
My neighbor down the street got braces a year or so ago and he even has to wear the rubber bands on them!

Here's hoping you don't need the rubber bands!
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBobbi Olson
I know plenty of people who are going the traditional route too. Good for you!
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBlondefabulous
I had braces for two years. it was tough but it really was a Godsend in the end. I think it's fantastic and good for you for taking care of you.

as far as the bra goes, I had one bra for the entire seventh grade. It was horrible. To this day I cannot wear underwire.
May 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Is it weird that I am a little jealous? I always, always, ALWAYS wanted braces and talked about having them non-stop, much to the chagrin of my brace-face older brother. When I was 4 years old, I was still sucking my thumb. My Mom took me to the dentist who tried to "scare" me into sucking my digit by saying I would need braces. I sucked even more. It didn't work - I never needed them.

I get sort of angry when I see all the new, fancy, invisible braces. I WANT BRACES. METAL. BRACES.
May 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSherri
You look even cuter than ever!

And 18 months will absoltely fly. Oh yeah.

I've never needed braces but veneers would be nice. Someday.
May 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJannie Funster
Sorry I am late to the party. I found this whole post completely amusing. In fifth grade I was MORTIFIED to need a training bra. And to be the ONLY one. In contrast, I thought being the first one to get braces, also in fifth grade, was totally cool. Even more so when I was the first to get them off. Now I need them again. Maybe we could get a group discount!
May 8, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTristan
You are so fabulous.

Wanna know a secret? After breastfeeding three children, I'm back to needing a training bra.

Back in the day, mine used to slip up to my armpits, proving for everyone who saw me pull it back down that I didn't need it.

You're a brave woman. The cool part is that you may be able to pass for a teenager now.
May 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterX
Good for you with the braces. I sure hope they are feeling better today. When we 3 kids got braces in the early 80's, my mom got them, too (age 36). We got bands around each tooth in those days. She could only get 2 put on the first day b/c she was so miserable.
May 13, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteranna see
Thank you for bringing up this having a braces i so cool!

by: florence
There are more and more adults getting braces. The belief that braces are only for teenagers are a thing of the past. Thanks for sharing your story.
December 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterInvisalign
I think braces look cute. My kids have had them for a while. They don't complain, they think it's really cool. Well, they're young so they are a bit oblivious, hehe. But I think you look great with braces! I also had them when I was in college. You'll get used to it eventually.

August 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTabatha Aikins

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